As Australia is the driest inhabited continent, water restrictions are necessary to maintain water supplies during drought, which can produce mild to severe water shortages. Effective restrictive measures can reduce the effect of such occurrences, and improve how sustainable our water supplies are.

Water restrictions are only applicable to customers on a piped water (reticulated) supply. These restrictions do not apply to the use of recycled, reclaimed, rain or grey water, except where it is supplemented in any way by drinking (potable) water.

Water restrictions are managed by Victoria's urban water corporations and are applied across Victoria based on the water restriction by-laws of each water corporation and its Drought Preparedness Plan.

While all restriction policies are based on uniform guidelines, there may be minor variations in the details to account for local conditions.

Water corporations may grant exemptions from restrictions for those with special needs, and have principles in place to ensure the consistent treatment of exemption applications.

Information concerning guidelines or exemptions from water restrictions may be applied for from your local water corporation.

See Permanent water saving rules.

Annual water outlooks

Water corporations are required to prepare an Annual Water Outlook, which provides an outlook of each system's water supply and an associated list of priority actions (Action Plan) for each water supply system every year.  The outlooks also provide information on the Permanent Water Saving Plans, and if any water restrictions are in place or likely to be needed over the coming year.

The Annual Water Outlooks are available to the public from 1 December each year and can be found on the website of each water corporation.